Chiefs vs. Chargers game preview: Joey Bosa’s dominance is a big concern for K.C.

CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: Philip Rivers #17 of the Los Angeles Chargers makes a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs at StubHub Center on September 9, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: Philip Rivers #17 of the Los Angeles Chargers makes a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs at StubHub Center on September 9, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – OCTOBER 27: Joey Bosa #97 of the Los Angeles Chargers reacts after sacking Mitchell Trubisky #10 of the Chicago Bears late in the fourth quarter at Soldier Field on October 27, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNzzo/Getty Images) /

Joey Bosa is one of the best defenders in the league

Joey Bosa, the son of former Miami Dolphins defensive end John Bosa and older brother of San Francisco defensive end Nick Bosa, is one of the best defenders in the NFL. The Ohio State product and fourth-year pro is on pace to finish the year with career highs in several major categories for a defensive lineman.

Through 10 games, he’s produced the fourth most sacks in the league with 8.5, ranks fifth in quarterback hits with 19 and ranks second in tackles for loss with 15. That puts him on pace for 14 sacks, 30 quarterback hits, and 24 tackles for loss, and it’s why he’s tied with Stephon Gilmore and just ahead of Aaron Donald in the odds to win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.

This is the big challenge for the Chiefs offensive line. It’s unclear whether or not both Eric Fisher and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif will return for Monday’s game, and several other members of the offensive line rotation have been banged up along the way. Bosa has been an absolute game-wrecker along the defensive front, and is someone that will have to be a focal point of the offensive scheme for Monday’s game.

This simple fact should give Chiefs fans comfort: while Bosa has had a great year, he has been effectively neutralized in a few particular games. In the games against the Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Oakland Raiders, Bosa had a total of zero sacks and four quarterback hits. All three of these teams have quarterbacks or coaches that know how to scheme away a pass rush with a quick passing attack. With Reid’s positive history of neutralizing some of the game’s best pass rushers, I’d expect nothing less on Monday.

Phillip Rivers is starting to show his age

Phillip Rivers has had a pretty spectacular career, at least in terms of his overall stats. He’s currently sixth all-time in passing yards with 57,472 yards, sixth in passing touchdowns with 388, ninth in yards per attempt, and 10th in career passer rating with 95.4. He’s been undeniably great, even though the Chargers haven’t been relevant for quite some time.

The national media loves him. It seems like every year they not only pick the Chargers to win the AFC West and contend for the championship, they expect Rivers to defeat Father Time and continue to play like he’s in his 20s. He’s no longer in his 20s, and that fact is starting to show in his overall play.

Through 10 games his average yards per game is still pretty good relative to the rest of his career. In fact, he currently leads the league in total passing yards. If he maintains this same pace his average this year will be top-five for his career.

However, his production in touchdowns and interceptions and corresponding ratio are near the bottom of his career. He’s on pace for his second lowest touchdown production at 22, and his touchdown to interception ratio would only beat the two worst years of his career. Some may say this doesn’t matter in the context of the whole team’s production, but when you struggle to run the ball like the Chargers have, scoring production in the passing game is that much more important.

They say Father Time is undefeated. We see it sooner or later for every single player and were seeing it now with Rivers. All that said, at this point, the Chiefs can’t afford to overlook anyone.